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Best Bad-Credit Loan Lenders in Illinois

MoneyGeek considered more than 30 data points when ranking bad-credit loan lenders in Illinois. We categorized these factors based on affordability, accessibility and customer service, among other factors. Part of this process included gathering information about APRs, repayment terms, loan amount ranges, minimum credit score requirements and disbursement periods.

Based on our analysis, Upstart is the best bad-credit loan in Illinois. However, the ideal lender for you might vary based on your financial history and funding needs.

Best Overall Bad-Credit Loan in Illinois: Upstart

  • Upstart

    • 3.22% to 35.99%APR Range
    • 300Minimum Credit Score
    • $1,000 to $50,000Loan Amount Range
    • 36 to 60 monthsRepayment Terms
    • Next DayTime to Receive Funds


Runner-Up for Best Bad-Credit Loan in Illinois: Upgrade

  • Upgrade

    • 5.94% to 35.47%APR Range
    • 560Minimum Credit Score
    • $1,000 to $50,000Loan Amount Range
    • 36 to 60 monthsRepayment Terms
    • Same DayTime to Receive Funds


How to Choose the Best Bad-Credit Loan in Illinois for You

The average personal loan debt in Illinois is $22,553, so you’re not alone in seeking a loan. Before you send in your application, you need to consider several personal and financial factors.

These factors determine your future responsibilities with your loan, like interest, repayment terms, fees and more. To help you find the loan you’re looking for, MoneyGeek created a guide on how to choose the best lender for your needs.


Ask Yourself the Important Questions

It’s important to know why you’re taking out a loan and how you’re going to go about the application process. Consider asking yourself the following questions:

  • How much funding do you need? Many factors and situations can dictate the amount that you need. Knowing how much you need can ensure you don’t ask for too much or too little.
  • What’s your credit score? Your credit profile determines the loan amount, APR, repayment terms and other aspects of your loan. Make sure you apply with a lender who will accept your score.
  • Can you afford the monthly payments? A loan is a monthly obligation. It’s best to take a look at your budget to see if it can support a loan payment.
  • Do you have existing debts? Your existing debts affect the lender’s decision to approve your application or not.
  • Is your debt manageable through other means? Check your options to see if there are other more affordable or convenient ways to fund your needs.

Do Your Research

Looking for a loan involves shopping for the best deal. You need to look around, compare prices and then decide which one fits your budget best. You might also be looking for the option that gives you the best value for your money. Sometimes, there are options that just don’t work.

When looking for a loan, it’s important to explore your options, compare rates and check the fine print. These details can help you choose the best loan for your financial situation, needs and preferences.

Although MoneyGeek does its best to find the best lenders for different borrower profiles, our recommendations aren’t one-size-fits-all. Your personal circumstances may affect your decision. At the end of the day, the best lender for your needs depends on you. Our recommendations can guide you in making your decisions, but it’s important to do your own research.


Read the Fine Print

When you research lenders, they usually give important information right away. If you’re browsing their website, you’ll immediately see the loan amount and APR ranges. Then, while you’re scrolling the page, you might see other information, like the repayment terms and benefits of the loans.

These details may be enticing, but they’re not the entire picture. Sometimes, you need to go the extra mile to look for fees and other conditions that come with the loan. These details can be found at the bottom of the page in tiny font or in their FAQs section.

Reading the fine print is a crucial step because it helps you know the true cost of your loan. It also helps you avoid unwanted and unforeseen fees that may balloon over time. Therefore, in your research, pay attention to fees, such as origination fees, late fees, prepayment penalties and other additional costs that the lender may charge.



There might be several things going on in your mind while you choose a personal loan lender. You might be asking yourself more questions along the way or second-guessing your choice. Maybe you just want to be a hundred percent sure of your decision.

It can be beneficial to try taking a break. Consider waiting a day or two before finalizing your decision. Giving yourself time can help you clear your mind and sort things out. Allow yourself to take every concern one step at a time until you’re more confident about your decision.

Remember that a loan is a commitment. You need to pay your installments every month, including interest. Depending on your lender, you may subject yourself to a hard inquiry that affects your credit score. Because of this, being absolutely sure about your loan is necessary to avoid having regrets in the future.



Once you have all the details about your loan and you’re sure about your decision, the next step is to apply. The application process varies for every lender.

Online applications could be the most convenient option. Some lenders accept online applications through their official websites and mobile apps. Their system can guide you throughout the step, especially when it comes to providing relevant documents.

If you’re not comfortable with online applications, you can also apply personally or over the phone. For personal applications, you can go to your lender’s office and submit the requirements. Calling your lender’s hotline is also another way to apply.

Lenders usually ask for identification, address verification and proof of income when you apply for a loan. They can also request other documents, depending on their process and your application. It’s best to secure the important documents beforehand to avoid delays.

What to Do if You Can’t Get a Bad-Credit Loan in Illinois

Loans are often denied because of low credit scores, insufficient income or mistakes in the application. If your loan application has been denied, don’t worry. There are still a couple of things that you can do to qualify for a loan.

If your application has been denied, the first step is to get in touch with your lender and find out what went wrong. Knowing the reason for your rejection can help you improve in this area. It can increase your chances of being approved, whether you apply for a loan from the same lender or not.

You can also find another lender and send in another application. However, you’ll have a better chance of getting approval if you’ve worked on the reason for your rejection. If you need the loan urgently, you can consider finding a lender with a different set of eligibility requirements.

MoneyGeek does not advise taking out a payday loan. Although these loans give you quick access to funds, they’re not ideal in the long run. They might even end up being more expensive because of their high interest rates.

Calculate Your Monthly Payment

Having a personal loan means paying monthly installments. The amount that you pay every month includes your interest. MoneyGeek’s personal loan calculator can help you get an estimate of how much you’ll pay every month for your loan.



+ $114.98


+ $8.33

Origination Fee Percentage


Origination Fee Fixed amount


Total monthly payment


FAQs About Bad-Credit Loans in Illinois

MoneyGeek answered frequently asked questions about bad-credit loans in Illinois, so you can find the best loan for your needs.


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MoneyGeek evaluated 35 data points from 30 personal loan lenders. These data points were broken down into categories that included loan affordability, accessibility, consumer friendliness, customer service, flexibility and lender transparency.

Under these categories, we analyzed more data points that closely affect a borrower’s decision. Some of these are APR ranges, loan amounts, minimum credit score, minimum income requirement, application fees and disbursement time.

Because MoneyGeek values you, the consumer, we also consider factors that make your experience easier and more accessible. These factors include customer support, business ratings, prequalification, payment options and mobile apps.

Our recommendations are a result of careful consideration and calculation. Through this process, we choose our top picks with your best interests in mind. MoneyGeek’s goal in giving you our expert tips and recommendations is to help you make the best and the smartest financial decisions.


The content on this page is accurate as of the posting/last updated date; however, some of the rates mentioned may have changed. We recommend visiting the lender's website for the most up-to-date information available.

Editorial Disclosure: Opinions, reviews, analyses and recommendations are the author’s alone and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any bank, lender or other entity. Learn more about our editorial policies and expert editorial team.